Two years ago, I sat in my bedroom keen on giving up art-making. I had fallen into the trap that many creatives do, the one filled with self-doubt and insecurity. I was not seeing the progress I wanted and frankly, I was getting impatient. Weeks passed, and so did months, and in the blink of an eye, it had been a year. A friend of mine invited me to figure drawing at the League; an evening class with Garin Baker. I knew of the League from my illustration teacher Mr. Weinstein but have never racked up the courage to go. I didn’t think it was the place for me, someone so insecure in my work and skill.
“We all had something to learn from each other and everyone was open to it. It felt right, being back in my creative flow.”
Somehow, he ended up convincing me, and while it was a bit intimidating at first, I was able to find my footing in the studio. This experience brought me back to my high school days sitting in the illustration classrooms. The best part of it all was finding a community filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, who come from all skill levels. We all had something to learn from each other and everyone was open to it. It felt right, being back in my creative flow. The League offered everything I needed to get back on track with my journey of becoming a better artist. The environment provided the materials, the teachers, the studio spaces, and most importantly: the community. I started going more often to strengthen my technical skills. I took classes with Jerry Weiss and Amy Weiskopf. I even did a workshop with Jeff Buckland for stop-motion animation.
Being back felt right again, and it wasn’t anything like I had previously expected. Everyone was there to learn, to better their craft, just like me. It wasn’t just a place for professional artists but for anyone looking to explore their creative endeavors. It has been one of the most welcoming communities I have been a part of. Being at the League also made me realize how much of a storyteller I was. Drawing from models, I would often make up backstories for them based on their facial expressions and poses. It’s the reason why I am so determined to master the fundamentals — I would like to bring my drawings to life one day through stories, either as an animator or a children’s book illustrator.
Artists like Arthur Rackham and Jerry Pinkey immersed me in the world of storytelling through thoughtful compositions in illustration. Films from animation studios like Laika or from director Guillermo Del Toro inspired me through their use of music, movement, and dialogue. I have always looked to evoke thought and emotion through my work, and I could use more help mastering the fundamentals that’ll make my work this more possible.
Hispanic / Latino
High School of Art & Design
Fashion Institute of Technology